Flowers and applause at Sheremetyevo airport
Today the heroes of the final stage of the 2nd European Games returned to Moscow. In terminal F of Sheremetyevo, where the Aeroflot flight landed from Minsk, members of the shooting, gymnastics, Greco-Roman wrestling, karate and track cycling teams were met with a festive ceremony celebrating their Olympic victories.
As the President of the ROC, Stanislav Pozdnyakov joked, the leaders of the Olympic movement had doubts whether the plane with so many gold, silver and bronze medals could rise up into the air.
– Thomas Bach, who took part in the awards ceremony of our gymnasts on the last day of the Games, asked me if we were taking a heavy load on board. I said that was not a problem. On the contrary, the more medals we win, for example, at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, the better. The Russian Olympic Committee and our General Partner Aeroflot will make sure that our athletes can fly comfortably to any destination in the world, – said the head of the ROC.
Anastasia Voinova, Daria Shmeleva, Sergey Kamensky, Stepan Maryanian, David Belyavsky, Alexander Chekhirkin and other victorious athletes were greeted with flowers and applause. Attendants of Sheremetyevo also joined the fans in welcoming the champions and viewed with interest the young dignified athletes in stylish ZASPORT outfits wearing grand medals.
– You are our talent pool, the sports heroes of the present and the future, please continue to perform the same way as in Minsk during the wonderful European games and do not lose momentum, – said two-time Olympic champion Lydia Ivanova in her concluding address to the athletes. The famous gymnast, together with a large group of veteran sports legends, supported our athletes during 10 days in the arenas of Minsk.
David Belyavsky responded on behalf of the Olympic champions which was symbolic. The two-time winner of the European Games (Men’s All Round and Men’s Pommel Horse events) thanked the ROC, all the coaches, specialists and fans for their help in preparing for the Games in Minsk, and did not forget to express gratitude for the warm support at the competitions themselves.
– Russian athletes flew to the capital of Belarus in different groups and on different days, however, they all returned together. And this is how it should be since we are all one big team, one big Olympic family, – added Stanislav Pozdnyakov before the Russian National Anthem was sounded. The festive ceremony ended with a traditional photo session.
We should mention that in Minsk, the Russian team won 109 medals (44 gold, 23 silver and 42 bronze medals). The host nation Belarus got second place with 69 medals (24-16-29), while Ukraine finished third with 51 medals (16-17-18).
During the 2nd European Games our athletes were supported and praised for their victories by: the General sponsor of the ROC – global energy company Gazprom, the General Partners of the ROC – the largest airline of Russia Aeroflot and the official outfitter of the Russian Olympic team ZASPORT, and the Partner of the ROC – mining and metallurgical company Norilsk Nickel.